Delhi Railways & Stations

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Delhi Railways

Delhi had six railway systems linking together all the major railway systems of India

The 1908 Imperial Gazetteer [1] gives the following:-

“The ‘East Indian Railway’(EIR), ‘North Western Railway’(NWR) and the ‘Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway’(O&RR) all enter from Ghaziabad Junction, crossing the Jumna River by the ‘Yamuna Railway Bridge’. The ‘Delhi-Umballa-Kalka Railway’ runs northwards from the city, and the ‘Rajputana-Malwa Railway’ traverses the District for a short distance in the direction of Gurgaon”.

Details of each line are as follows:-

Howrah-Delhi EIR Main Line
Marked Green on Map
East Indian Railway’(EIR), BG Main Line, terminus of the line from Delhi via Ghaziabad to Howrah (for Calcutta) ‘[[Howrah-Delhi EIR Main Line. The line fully openedthrough to Delhi in 1867 - see separate page for details]]

NWR Delhi-Peshawar Cantonment Mainline
Marked Orange on Map
North Western Railway’ (NWR), BG Main Line , terminus of the line from Delhi via Ghaziabad and Meerut to Peshawar . The ‘Delhi-Ghaziabad Section’ was on the EIR line under a ‘Running Agreement’ - see separate page for details
This line was originally constructed by the ‘Scinde Railway Company’, and opened in 1870 to Ghaziabad and became part of the ‘Scinde, Punjaub & Delhi Railway ’ ; in 1886 transferred to form the NWR

SPR Delhi-Samasata Mainline
Marked Blue on Map
Southern Punjab Railway’, BG, southern terminus of the ‘Delhi-Samasata Railway’, opened 1897, linking for the last 13 miles(21km) to the EIR at Ghaziabad. Worked by NWR until 1929 when absorbed into the NWR - see separate page for details

O&RR Moradabad-Ghaziabad Branch
Marked Brown on Map
Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway [O&RR), BG Branch Line from the ‘O&RR Main Line’ at Moradabad to Ghaziabad and then by an EIR ‘Running Agreement’ into Delhi . The line opened in 1900 - see separate page for details

Delhi-Umballa-Kalka Railway
Marked Green on Map
The ‘Delhi-Umballa-Kalka Railway’, BG , formed 1889 as private company , worked and maintained by EIR from Delhi to Kalka, line opened 1891 - see separate page for details

Agra-Delhi Chord Railway
Marked Yellow on Map
The ‘Agra-Delhi Chord Railway’, BG, worked by ‘Great Indian Peninsula Railway’ (GIPR). The line from Delhi to Raja-ki-Mandi(Agra) opened in 1904-5 - see separate page for details

Delhi-Ahmedabad BB&CIR Main Line
Marked Red on Map
This was the only Metre Gauge (MG) line into Delhi, first section, originally named the ‘Rajputana State Railway’ opened 1873 from Delhi via Gurgaon reaching Ahmedabad in 1879, merged to form ‘Rajputana-Malwa State Railway’ in 1882, worked by the ‘Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway’(BB&CIR) and taken over by BB&CIR in 1900. - see separate page for details

Shahdara-Saharanpur Light Railway
Marked ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ on Map
This was a Narrow Gauge line from Shahdara in the north-eastern suburbs of Delhi - see separate page for details

Delhi Stations

Original Delhi Station
The station near Chandni Chowk started with a Broad Gauge ‘East Indian Railway’ line from Calcutta in 1864.
The Metre Gauge track from Delhi to Rewari and further to Ajmer was laid in 1873 by the ‘Rajputana State Railway’ and metre-gauge trains from this station started in 1876.[2].

Delhi Junction Station
Also described as the ‘Old Delhi Staion’
Planning of the station commenced in 1893 and was part of a well thought out plan for holding the [[Delhi_Durbar#1903| ‘Delhi Durbar’ in 1903. Keeping into account the special needs for holding of the Durbar, this grand structure was opened for public use in 1903. Built in Mogul style of architecture this exquisite station building complex is one of the most beautiful rail terminals in the world. Its imposing exterior and artistic decorations lend it the serenity of a mosque and the grandeur of a fort. With projecting minarets, semi circular arches and other decorations this structure built with red stones, merges very well with Red Fort, Jama Masjid, and other buildings of Chandni Chowk. The main attraction of this building are the six minarets located at every corner. On both floors arches and windows have been beautifully decorated with lattice work which adds grace to the entire structure. The six minarets referred to above were also used for storage of water in the initial stages [3].
The building of the station commenced in 1900 and opened for the public in 1903. Started with just 2 platforms and 1000 passengers, Delhi junction railway station now handles more than 180,000 passengers and around 190 trains starts, ends, or passes through the station daily. Delhi railway station was built in red stone to give the effect of nearby historic Red Fort[2]
In 1904 the ‘Agra-Delhi Chord Railway’ was opened. Delhi then was a part of six railway systems. -as listed in ‘Railways’ above
This station served as the main station of Delhi, hosting junction of the railways listed above until the opening of the ‘New Delhi Station’ in 1926 ahead of the inauguration of the New Delhi city in 1931. The ‘‘Agra–Delhi Railway’ track cut through the site earmarked for the hexagonal War Memorial (now called India Gate) and Kingsway (now called Rajpath). The ‘East Indian Railway Company’ shifted the line along the Yamuna river and opened the new track in 1924 [2].

New Delhi Station
. The new realigned track included the ‘Minto Railway Bridge’ over the Minto Road (connecting Connaught Place to the New Delhi Railway Station - Ajmeri Gate side) and the ‘Tilak Rail Bridge’ were part of this realigned line. The ‘East Indian Railway Company’ that overlooked railways in the region, sanctioned the construction of a single story building and a single platform between Ajmeri Gate and Paharganj in 1926. This was the start of what was later known as ‘New Delhi Railway Station’. The government's plans to have the new station built inside the Central Park of Connaught Place was rejected by the Railways as it found the idea impractical. In 1927–28, New Delhi Capital Works project involving construction of 4.79 miles (7.71 km) of new lines was completed. The Viceroy and royal retinue entered the city through the new railway station during the inauguration of New Delhi in 1931. New structures were added to the railway station later and the original building served as the parcel office for many years. [4].

Further Information

See individual Railway pages for more information